Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995 17:31:11 -0400 From: "William A. Kretzschmar, Jr." Subject: Re: oj trial On Thu, 13 Jul 1995, Alan S. Kaye wrote: > RE: OJ Trial > > Folks, come on, let's get serious. I am not an expert in AAVE; however, > I would like to see the "expert" identify correctly out of 100 tape recordings > of, say, 100 different people born and raised in a southern state, e.g., > chosen at random, and identify blacks from non-blacks. My guess is that > this is next to impossible. Then, too, we can have whites who sound black > (phoneticians, e.g.) and blacks who sound white. So where does it all end, > and what is the point of such non-scientific judgements. So I must say > that Johnny Cochran's point seems to me to be a good one. > > Alan Kaye > akaye[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] > Linguistics, CSU, Fullerton > No, Cochran's point is not good. Many (but not all) African American speakers all over the country have a speech type that resembles Southern plantation speech, including loss of post vocalic -r, cluster reduction, and many other features that lay people as well as linguists can hear and recognize (if not define precisely as phonological features). Most non-African-Americans in Southern California do not have that kind of speech. If the witness were to have heard somebody with such a Southern speech type, the most likely case in Southern California is that it might have been an African American. Without recordings and instrumental analysis it is pretty dicey to identify voices, but the question leads to the kind of probabilistic judgment also invited by, say, the fiber evidence. As it happens, the witness is a non-native-speaker of American English, and so not able to make any such judgment in any case. Out of my oj-stupor, I appear to have some recall after all. Regards, Bill ****************************************************************************** Bill Kretzschmar Phone: 706-542-2246 Dept. of English (Park 317) FAX: 706-542-2181 University of Georgia Internet: billk[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Athens, GA 30602-6205 Atlas Web Page: